5 tips for women in leadership positions

The corporate landscape may have been traditionally male-dominated, but women have managed to break the glass ceiling, pave their own path and achieve various top positions at various firms in all sectors. Of all the CEOs who lead the companies that make up the 2018 Fortune 500 list, 24 are women. While this number may not be too big, these women are holding their own, making major in-roads in an otherwise male dominated environment.

From financial companies, tech giants, energy and retail, women have created a name for themselves and continue to pave the way for other females to follow. Here are five tips that could help women comfortably occupy leadership positions in companies and be at the helm of affairs:

  1. Communicate Confidently

Strong and clear communication is a skill that is necessary in a leadership position. As a leader, you have to interact daily with various people – your subordinates, board members, customers, partners etc. For all such instances, communicating with clarity and confidence is vital to be an effective leader.  Doing so will not only ensure your subordinates’ respect but will also ensure the success in your endevour.

Practicing how to speak confidently is an essential skill to shape at networking events. Often enough the top positions at companies are male-dominated, therefore, women have to ensure that they are assertive enough to have their voice and opinions heard. This also means having the right body language and adapting a demeanour that communicates strength. This doesn’t mean that one has to be loud or rude. It just means that women often have to work harder to have their voices heard and for them to be taken seriously. Thus, it is vital for you to project yourselves in a manner that embodies confidence and strength.

  1. Have a positive attitude and perseverance

People like to follow leaders who have a positive attitude. It is best to have a positive outlook while dealing with decisions at the workplace. To help you stay positive, you can surround yourself with people who will encourage, inspire and believe in you. With a positive attitude, you will be able to see the potential that lies within you and in others.As a leader, you will also keep coming across challenges, and sometimes things won’t go according to plan. You need perseverance and the ability to keep moving forward.

  1. Don’t Command Respect, Earn Respect

As a leader, you may not find the need to please your subordinates or colleagues. However, at the same time you cannot force them to respect you. It is still vital for you to earn their respect. If your colleagues and subordinates do not respect, they will not follow you, and that will be the demise of you as a leader. If you conduct yourself with certain authority while maintaining your humility, and continue leading by example, your peers and your team will surely follow you on your road to success.

  1. Learn to effectively handle conflict

Once you are in a leadership position, there is every chance that you will have to handle conflict in some form or the other. When in such a situation, you have to be calm and pragmatic. It is important for you to hear all sides of the conflict and mediate the conflict in a way that defuses the situation and not inflame it.  Your main focus should be to get past the problem and find an amicable solution.

  1. Continue to network, seek a mentor and be a mentor

Networking is crucial to you and your company’s success and it should not be limited only to your industry. You can continue to connect with people from other industries as well because the more you network, the easier it will be to create your personal network of potential mentors, employees, business partners or professionals who you can consult with when needed. Also, even if you are in a senior position yourself, it always helps for you to have a mentor whom you can seek out for objective advice and insights when you are in a conundrum. Being a woman leader, you are in a position to not only mentor and lead by example but also empower other women to rise to senior positions in the organization.

The article has been written for Times of Startups by Ms Minal Anand , Founder & CEO, GuruQ. The views expressed in the article above are those of the author Ms Minal Anand. GuruQ is one of India’s leading digital platform that connects students and tutors to address the huge need gap of quality tutoring in India

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